Container shippers face increasing delays

Trade press reports are highlighting increasingly negative service issues, as ports, carriers and hauliers struggle to deal with the fallout from Felixstowe’s disastrous software upgrades.

Container collection and delivery performance levels across the country are under pressure as the crisis in the UK container haulage sector spreads.

Container haulage capability has suffered from driver shortages for many years, but the main driver for the current slump can be directly linked to Felixstowe’s failure to successfully migrate its new IT system, leading carriers to divert vessels to London Gateway and Southampton.HPIM5309-2

Southampton and London Gateway are especially because of the additional vessels they are receiving, and while it is still possible to get containers delivered at short notice, we can see the hauliers ramping up the rates.

CMA CGM subsidiary ANL announced a six-day delay on export collections due to a reduction in haulage availability, with the next collection at major ports, including Felixstowe, London Gateway and Southampton, on the 17th September.

MIQ Logistics’ exports are unaffected by the ANL announcement, but we are aware of export collection issues, and also delays on some import collections

During these challenging times we are working with our shipping line and haulier partners to maintain haulage service levels for exports and imports, while simultaneously reducing the risk of rent and demurrage.

The most stringent development is from a carrier that we rarely support, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) who have advised that, from 1 October, shippers must undertake all export collections and import deliveries at their own risk.

HMM also reserve the right for their hauliers to be up to 90 minutes late, while still expecting containers arriving within that period to be loaded or unloaded. They will not consider extended free time or additional costs, however wasted journey costs will apply for any HMM container arriving within this 90-minute period which is rejected for loading or unloading.

The UK road haulage sector does face ongoing challenges as a result of road congestion, a general shortage of vehicle, driver and rail availability, plus increased cargo volumes. Which has been exacerbated by port congestion and vessel diversions, but does suggest that these issues are likely to continue into the long-term.

Delays also reportedly affecting Immingham, Liverpool, Teesport and Tilbury.

We will continue to monitor and react accordingly, keeping you and all our clients informed of developments.